Product Type: Hasbro Art / Craft
Newest Review: ... girls to play and it comes in different colours. Bright colours which attract children's attention, not dull colours which they will find ... more
Rainy Day activities that do not require a lot of doh!
Member Name: Lools_24
Advantages: Lots of fun, reasonably cheap, versatile, lots of accessories available
Disadvantages: Does dry out, can be messy
When my boys got to around 14 months old I found myself encouraging their creative side and a lot of play time activities encouraged "messy play". I must admit having two young toddlers makes it difficult when you are on your own to enjoy messy creative play as you spend a lot of your time trying to control what is going on and minimise mess. I also found that many of the creative type toys and accessories stated "from 2 or 3 years old" therefore I was very conscious that when I was on my own I need to fully supervise my boys, often made difficult when they wanted to wander off in different directions.
However after gaining confidence seeing my boys playing with the "messy toys" that I had avoided when they were at toddler groups or nursery I decided to buy in some of their favourites for rainy days at home. One of the clear favourites (theirs and mine!) was Playdoh.
Playdoh is basically a non-toxic, non-staining reusable pliable dough / modelling compound that is so famous it is known by the brand name.
The dough can be cut, shaped, squashed and then reused by children over and over (if stored correctly). Not only does Playdoh offer various coloured dough, you can purchase a wealth of accessories to cut and shape the dough. My review is for the basic Playdoh modelling dough which comes in a pack of 4 colours.
The pack size in total is 520g which is four 130g pots. The colours inside of the pots vary in the multipacks. In the pack I picked up we have pink, purple, green and orange. At the store I purchased from you could also get a pack which included blue, red, yellow and white pots.
Hasbro the manufacturer of Playdoh state that the toy is suitable from 2 years old.
The four packs of Playdoh can be bought from all retailers that sell Playdoh. This includes Toys R Us, Smyths, ELC, Mothercare, Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury's to name a few. The price for a pack of four 130g pots typically costs around £4.00 from the main toy retailers. However there are often many special offers on this particular pack of the Playdoh product and you can pay around £2 for four tubs which is what discount retailers like B&M's and Wilkinson's sell this product at.
At £4.00 the four Playdoh pots are slightly more expensive than other stores brands of modelling dough (i.e. ELC Soft Stuff) however at the discounted price Playdoh actually is no more expensive and in our experience I have found it is a slightly better quality.
I started letting my boys play with Playdoh at around 15 months at home. They had started playing with Playdoh at around 14 months when they were at toddler groups and nursery. Hasbro state on the packaging that Playdoh is suitable for children aged over 2 years; however after speaking to the staff at the boy's nursery I decided there was very little "danger" providing they were constantly supervised.
The main issue with Playdoh for children under 2 years old (and those over 2 years old) is that they will eat the dough and put it in their mouth. One of my sons is terrible for trying to taste things and I found that when I opened the Playdoh he did attempt to try every different colour of the dough in his mouth, almost to see if they tasted any different. However based on his reaction he simply put the dough to his lips and made a grimacing face and after the initial "testing" he did not try the dough in his mouth again. My other son only tried the dough once and then has never done this again. Even though my boys did not swallow any dough they were not ill from putting the dough in their mouths.
Over the last 8 months we have had a lot of fun playing with Playdoh. At 14 months my boys probably only played with the dough for no more than 10 minutes at one time. They simply enjoyed squashing the Playdoh in their hands and pushing objects and plastic cutters into the pieces of Playdoh in front of them.
As they got older the length of time that they played with the Playdoh increased. At 22 months old we can now be playing with Playdoh for up to 30 minutes which for my boys there are very few toys or activities which hold their attention for this long.
The still enjoy squishing the dough into balls but they do get a lot of pleasure from rolling the Playdoh flat and then using cutters to cut shapes into the dough. As young toddlers they did not really seem to notice the different colours of Playdoh whereas now they play extremely creatively selecting different coloured dough and making different coloured shapes with these. At 22 months when they make their own shapes it is very difficult to figure out what they are making however I can see they are really using their imagination as they tell me what the shape they have made is (despite it not resembling this object/ animal/ shape!) . They take a lot of pleasure from me playing alongside them and making objects for them to play with a squash.
I do feel that at such a young age children are quite "messy" when they play with Playdoh. My boys in their excitement get stray bits of dough everywhere and although I play with the Playdoh at the kitchen table with them (and we have a tiled kitchen floor) I do find I need to take care that they do not trail stray bits into the living room and onto our rug. I have found bits of Playdoh squashed in this rug and it was quite difficult to get off the rug. Therefore I would probably advise this is not a toy to play with on carpet.
Tidying the Playdoh away is very easy. It does not stain or mark clothing or surfaces so you can simply collect up the dough and put it back in the four Playdoh pots. The pots have a lid which can be firmly shut but you do need to take care that you full shut the lid otherwise the Playdoh dries up very easily.
I do think Playdoh is softer, more flexible and slightly moister than other modelling dough we have owned so it has the advantage that it does not go dry and crumbly as quickly. Although I would say because of its softer texture I find the colours of the dough mix together a lot quicker. My boys initially were happy to play and keep the colours separate whereas now they like to mix the different coloured dough together. After around 3 different play sessions I find that we have grey dough and by the fourth play session it is a completely grey colour, no matter what coloured Playdoh pots I have bought. As a result I find that I probably purchase new Playdoh pots every 6 weeks or so to ensure we have different coloured dough and by this time the dough has started to dry out slightly and has crumbly crusty bits in it.
Playdoh is definitely a toy that I would recommend to parents of boys and girls as I feel it is such a versatile yet fun product which gives hours of fun especially on rainy days when you are stuck indoors.
The range of colours available means that you can make a variety of different objects and there are lots of accessories you can purchase to extend your creative play with the Playdoh dough. Even if you do not purchase specific Playdoh products you can find objects in your cupboards (such as cutters) to make different shapes or use other objects to make indents in your dough. The Playdoh pots make it very easy to tidy the dough away although my main criticism of Playdoh is you need to firmly shut the lid of the pots as otherwise the dough can dry out and does not stay soft.
Hasbro state that Playdoh is suitable for children over 2 years. I think it is based on an individual parent's discretion when they allow their child to play with Playdoh. My boys started playing with it at 14 months and they are constantly supervised. They have attempted to eat the dough but weird taste of the Playdoh discourages them and even when it has been put in their mouth it has not made them ill.
At the full price of £4.00 for four 130g tubs, Playdoh is slightly more expensive than other brands of pliable modelling dough however I feel it is a better quality and does not dry out as quickly as the ELC Soft Stuff or the Wilkinson's own brand of modelling dough.
Playdoh can be a slightly messy toy however in comparison to other "messy creative" activities like painting, it is very easy to clean up and even messy young toddlers do not require an apron or a change of clothes after play.
A fun activity for children and parents!
Summary: A classic to encourage creativity for all ages